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Posted on 08/18/2002 5:18:22 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
I just returned from the First Annual Free Republic Network Convention in Las Vegas.
The Free Republic Network Cruise last October was the most fun I've ever had in my whole life. The Free Republic Network Conference I just attended was the most informative and inspiring two days I've ever had in my whole life.
The Free Republic Network is stretching its muscle, not by talk, but by action. The Free Republic forum is liberty's college. The Free Republic Network is liberty's workplace.
If you attended, please use this thread to post your observations, comments and highlights of the conference. I will give mine below. But before I do, I'd like to take this time to thank Bob Johnson and the FRN board for putting on this conference. It's hard for me to find the words to adequately describe how great this experience was--and how much I learned.
Here is the archive put up be Agitator of the show if you want to listen to it .. just scroll down and click on Friva Las Vegas
nutmeg & zelig
BTW Congratulations Sauropod on your Eagle award. Big BUMP to YOU!
I knew you could do it.
You can't write something like that and then just vanish!
It was great seeing you at the conference.
Looking forward to next year, when we can be there. Has the date been set? I want to mark my calendar as soon as it is.
I literally just got home a few minutes ago and am a bit fried right now, as I spent about an hour more in the car than I normally have to due to the construction at D/FW airport. But I did want to get some of my impressions down on "paper" before I have time to cogitate and filter them into complete homogenity. Readers will get a more accurate, honest insight into my experiences during the wonderful 3 days I spent in Vegas if I babble this way. So please excuse the typos, subject-article mismatches, and Tourettes-like rambling that is sure to follow - as they say in the news biz, this is unedited feed.
First off, let me make it perfectly clear that you, Auntie Mame, are an absolute dear. Warm, friendly, and completely dedicated to "the cause," you were a touchstone for me the first time I met a bunch of folks in the flesh that I wasn't completely sure about. And yes, red is most definitely your color.
To be brutally honest, I took this trip primarily on the selfish premise that I'd have a few laughs, and I surely did that in spades during the course of the FRiva. But more importantly, I learned that being successful in countering the lies and prevarications of the left doesn't consist simply of wagging your finger, waving picket signs, and throwing verbal bombs. There are rules and right ways to accomplish this very necessary task, and we surely explored many of these during the course of the weekend, many of which this archer intends to refine and add to his quiver in the coming months.
The Treasure Island resort and Las Vegas were the perfect choice for this event. My living quarters were no cabin up a holler, and everyone I ran into in Vegas was friendly, helpful, and completely aware that I was dependent upon the kindness of strangers. Especially on my morning walks in the area of the resort, what struck me was the incredible polyglot of different people and languages I encountered - Japanese tourists, guys walking around in fez and dashiki, fat little German hausfrau toting their camcorders, studly rich kids obviously there on Daddy's credit card, and a wide sampling of the most mouth-watering women on the planet. I know that "diversity" is a dirty word for some, but this small-town Texas boy definitely saw himself some diversity this weekend.
There's a great little sandwich shop right across the street from the TI - I went over there twice to get sustenance when I was feeling penurious.
The Reception (Friday night)
This was simply the mixer to end all mixers. Not only did I get the opportunity to finally associate posting handles with faces, I got the rare privilege of hearing Laura Ingraham speak in person. She captivated the admittedly friendly group with an insightful and incisive speech, with illuminating "inside baseball" observations on politics and her take on conservatism and how Freepers are the tip of the spear at the grass-roots level. I watched a master craftswoman ply her trade Friday night, and it was a thing of beauty to behold.
And yes, the reports are correct - she's built like a brick concession stand. In the opinion of this humble wordsmith, Ann Coulter has nothing on Laura Ingraham (although Laura was not very receptive to my request to pose for photographs with a rifle - work on it).
The Training (Saturday)
There is a new sheriff in town that every Freeper needs to get to know - the Leadership Institute. Matt Lewis and his group as well as Chuck Muth and Nancy Bocskor educated us on a variety of topics that will make us more successful and more efficient. They did it with humor and even some Dutch uncle hectoring when necessary, and the result was magnificent. One of my tasks in the coming days is to distill the copious notes I took during the training into a resource I can use to become better at what I do (whatever that is). As Auntie Mame already pointed out, the LI will be offering seminars in your area in the coming months, and I strongly urge each and every one of you to look into participating. The LI is the real deal.
The Awards Ceremony (Saturday night)
There are some incredibly talented videographers who call themselves Freepers, and we all got the privilege of seeing their best work.
Everyone was dressed to the nines (except yours truly, who some thought was a Secret Service agent). Its the shades - they may look stupid, but I like 'em).
Rest easy, gentle reader; your fellow Freepers are good folk. This is not a complete list and is in no particular order; just first impressions.
Taxman. Ex-Navy, so you know he's a right guy. Passionate and articulate.
One Particular Harbour. Friendly and a little bit of a rogue. I liked him instantly.
Sauropod. A no-BS kind of guy, the kind of man you'd follow into battle.
CarryOkie and his adorable daughters. Quite possibly the most striking man appearance-wise I've ever seen. He kind of reminded me of a dapper Bruce Dern (and that's a compliment; Bruce is a fine man in his own right). Uses words and ideas like a surgeon.
Anymouse. Quiet, but its obvious that the lights are on and everybody's home.
Skeet. Eloquence personified.
Jeff Head. Absolutely inspirational speaker. Buy the man's book, tuit suite.
MarcyAZ. She's a mother (the most important job on the planet). She can also wear red and look darned good doing it.
The aforementioned, dear Auntie Mame.
WIMom. She brought me coffee during the "exit meeting" on Sunday morning when my hangover was threatening to turn me into Bruce Banner's big green friend. I still knocked water glasses over on the table when trying to make too forceful a point ;)
Dixie Sass. Incisive. She misses nothing.
BadJoe. THE MAN. He supplied the pens we used at the conference, and is a natural politician. Friendly and approachable.
Diotima and Bob J. The linchpins of this entire gig. They were everywhere, did everything, and are both natural leaders. I am proud to be associated with them.
Maceman. Witty and has interesting life experiences. I enjoyed his company.
And of course, Jim R. Standing ovation, every time. (Besides, he looked cool in the "Terminator" sunglasses I made him wear for a couple of pictures).
Things On My Personal To-Do List
Post some of the pictures I took.
Bump and contribute to the Leadership Council threads.
Find a free, voice-based, reliable private interface for Chapter communications.
Put a "padd" together with voter registration forms, Chapter membership applications, and so on. This will be my constant companion when I browbeat my friends into trying FreeRepublic.
I had a great time, came out in the black finance-wise, and didn't kill anybody. Can't ask for more than that.
Now, I'm going to bed. Good night.
Playboy is always looking for a new theme.
Thank you for the report, Auntie Mame! I have been furiously searching the headlines here for the last two days looking for any postings on FRiva. My husband and I listened to the Radio Free Republic archive of the live FRiva broadcast and were also very impressed with Mr. Muth.
We couldn't hear Laura - her speech is "copyrighted" according to the Radio archive - we were *really* bummed about missing her speech!
Pictures! We need PICTURES!
I knew you would get in trouble out there, OPH! (;
We couldn't attend due to the fact that we have a baby at home and couldn't take him on such a trip. Still, I knew that y'all would be in good hands. :)
We're glad you're home safe and sound. It was great to see you, Sheila and Chris again, Jim.
Can't wait to hear from you.
Were you and Sheryle profiled, Dale? LOL!
Glad you're home safe and sound.
You know, it's funny, but I brought my laptop with every intention of posting something about the conference, but I never even turned it on. This is a first for me. The conference was just so intense that when there was a spare moment the last thing I wanted to do was have to use my brain (it isn't used to all the exercise). ; - )
I'm not comfortable with that at all. Did he also advise that white folk not debate black folk on race issues?
If you have no other choice, of course, engage. But if you want the best possible results, then you try to start out on an equal footing.
Here's another example of what we learned at the conference. We've all heard that Clinton was such a great campaigner. I always just blew that comment aside and never gave it much consideration, I have such a visceral dislike of that man. Matt Lewis of the Leadership Institute SHOWED us how that was true. Then he SHOWED us what Clinton did and why it worked for him. Clinton always stayed on message, no matter what question was thrown at him, he stayed on message (some call it "spin"), remember "The worst economy in 50 years?" And our side can do it too. Of course, we don't have to be disgusting human beings in the process.
I guess the question is, do you want our side to win? We can take the moral high ground all we want, but if we want to win, there are techniques to be used, there is a certain discipline that must be developed, and these are things that can be learned and taught.
Freepers in attendance, chime in here if you can add to this conversation.
No, he was talking about the tactics of perception -- a black conservative might well be more effective in such a debate because of the "I've been there" factor.
Now of course the leftists have slathered this stuff with hypocritical pseudomorality to the point that they probably believe whites have no right to talk race issues with blacks. Matt's coming from a different perspective: understand your opponents and be willing to use their best tactics when it doesn't conflict with your core principles.
I ambled up between sessions and asked Matt if he'd read Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals -- Alinsky advised, among other things, staying within the experience of your group and working to maneuver your opponents outside their own areas of experience. He had, of course.
The word on the street is that there are regional events planned.
Perhaps we need to begin thinking about a Southeast gathering....
What silly reasoning. Abortion advocates debating the issues in the media aren't all pregnant - they're not even all women.
I don't think any of us expect that men cannot discuss abortion with the best of them. The reason it was mentioned was strictly to use appearances to help someone understand the 'good argument'. Some people in this country have an issue with a man talking about abortion, no matter what their argument. If the same argument is detailed by a woman however, they are all ears. Some may think we don't have to do this to get people to understand our position, but I'm sure the more you think about it, the more you'll come to understand just how it can work for us.
So am I.
A good argument stands on its own without having to use appearances as a prop.
That's especially true here...
What do you call a conservative who has fully mastered the tactics of Saul Alinsky? A liberal.